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Press Release: MARYLAND’S KENT COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND DISCOVERY EDUCATION PARTNER TO ADVANCE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT THROUGH DIGITAL RESOURCES AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
– School System First in Maryland and Among First in the Nation to Adopt Interactive Digital Math Textbook —
Silver Spring, Md. [June 9, 2014] – Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, and Maryland’s Kent County Public Schools (KCPS) have launched a new partnership to create authentic digital learning environments in classrooms district-wide. As part of this new collaboration, KCPS students grades K-12 will now have access to Discovery Education’s award-winning digital textbooks and dynamic curriculum-based content. In addition, Discovery Education will provide KCPS educators unique professional development opportunities that will build and nurture a network of teacher-leaders prepared to design and implement successful and innovative teaching strategies that can be shared with their peers district-wide.
Through this six-year partnership, KCPS is the first school system in Maryland and among the first districts nationwide to adopt the new Discovery Education Math Techbook™. Kent County middle school educators will also support the district’s goal of providing individualized learning experiences for all students by integrating Discovery Education Science Techbook™ and Social Studies Techbook™ into classroom instruction. Discovery Education’s digital textbook series creates learning environments that promote collaboration, creativity and participatory learning. The series delivers individualized resources and engages students in learning concepts through rich digital assets, including virtual labs, video clips, an interactive glossary and more.
In addition, all K-12 classrooms across the district will have access to Discovery Education Streaming Plus, a comprehensive digital library of more than 155,000 learning objects that support all subject areas and learning styles.
“We are excited to collaborate with Discovery Education to bring the world into our classrooms, ensuring all students will have access to tools that will prepare them to succeed in the 21st century and become engaged citizens in a global economy,” said Kent County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Karen Couch. “Discovery Education will provide the ongoing, job-embedded professional development essential to our digital transition and create the authentic learning environments that our students need and deserve.”
Last year, KCPS was one of six public school systems to be awarded a competitive grant from the Maryland State Department of Education’s Digital Learning Innovation Fund. A portion of the grant was used to pilot the Discovery Education Science Techbook in seventh grade classrooms, which resulted in new dynamic learning experiences and increased student engagement. Due in part to this success, the district was encouraged to expand its use of Discovery Education’s digital services to all classrooms across the district.
Through this new partnership, KCPS will also implement Discovery Education’s Digital Leader Corps (DLC). Featuring a unique combination of professional development, pedagogy and tools, the DLC helps participating educators learn to integrate educational technologies and digital media into classroom instruction. A new innovation included in the DLC is educator created, student-centered Learning Labs. In these labs, teachers bring to life new teaching strategies, and practice and adapt their skills in a classroom setting before sharing their successes broadly with their colleagues. The DLC program provides teachers with continuous customized consultation throughout the process with on-going modeling, coaching and feedback from Discovery Education DLC experts in the pre-planning, stakeholder communications and implementation phases.
In addition, the Discovery Educator Network (DEN) will support KCPS’ educators in their efforts to transform students’ learning experiences with digital media. A global community of education professionals, the DEN connects members across school systems and around the world through social media, virtual conferences, and in-person events, fostering valuable networking, idea sharing and inspiration.
“Discovery Education shares Kent County’s vision for how the combination of engaging digital content and robust professional development can provide personalized learning experiences and transform teaching and learning,” said Andrew Bradigan, Director of Partnerships for Discovery Education. “We look forward to continuing to support Superintendent Couch and her talented team as they lead the nationwide movement to digital learning and accelerate their transformative work in the district.”
Discovery Education’s Techbook series is revolutionizing instruction by supporting multiple learning styles through interactive content that specifically appeals to digital learners and real-time updates that allow teachers to incorporate current events and cutting-edge thinking into their curricula. Cloud-based and platform neutral, Techbook works in tandem with any school district’s technology infrastructure and existing hardware – iPads, tablets, mobile devices, laptops or desktops. Techbook digital textbooks are also a substantially less expensive option per student than a traditional textbook, with additional savings derived from a lack of textbook replacement or inventory costs.
For more information about the Discovery Education Techbook series, the Discovery Digital Leader Corps, or other services and resources from Discovery Education, visit www.discoveryeducation.com.
About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content and professional development for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Available in over half of all U.S. schools and primary schools in England, community colleges and in 50 countries around the world, Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that accelerate academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.